Belichick: European crowds add different dynamic to game


Belichick: European crowds add different dynamic to game

FOXBORO -- With Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams taking place in foreign territory, the Patriots face a few more obstacles than they'd normally see in a mid-season "road" game.

An obvious difference in playing overseas is the need for each player and coach to try and reset their body clock to the time change and travel schedule.

But there are some on-field differences that you might not consider "obstacles" at first glance.

"I'd say that the differences are, possibly the field, depending on what kind of condition that's in," said Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Thursday. "And you know, it's a different kind of crowd, obviously. It's not really a football crowd."

That non-football, European crowd isn't the same as American football crowds.

On a typical road game, NFL crowds utilize their loud voices while the opposing team's offense is on the field, making it as difficult as possible for them to communicate.

Overseas, the constant in-game chants can sometimes play mind games with the players and coaches, something that doesn't happen in NFL stadiums.

"It's random," said Belichick. "There's some random cheering out there. You know, the wave, and whatever things like that. If you're not really paying attention, sometimes you come on the bench talking to somebody, and you hear the crowd go crazy, and you think something's happened. But, that's their cheer or their chant, or whatever it is. So, there's some different dynamics like that, but again, the most important thing is just our focus on the Rams, and what comes up, situationally, within the game."

McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff


McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.

The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.

The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.

“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”

McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”

That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.